Post by DavidK Post by LFS Post by Sid Nuncius
I wonder whether any umrat has a subscription to The Times and/or
The Telegraph on-line? If so, would you be willing to copy the
text of these obituaries into an email and send them to me?
(Eliminating matron first, of course.)
Olga was one of my mother's oldest and dearest friends, whose
family were very good to my mum when she first arrived here. I
knew and loved her ever since I was born and she is the reason that
I took up the cello as a nipper. I'd be very glad of the texts to
keep if anyone can help.
I've emailed you the Times one, can't access the Telegraph, I'm afraid.
Many thanks, MOPMOB. Safely received.
I've sent the telegraph one (I think). I have a freebee telegraph
subscription that gives me a limited number of articles per week.
Thanks for trying, David. It hasn't arrived yet but I'm sure it will.
In the meantime anotherrat has sent it to me, so I now have both.
Many, many thanks, MOPsMOBs. It means a lot to me.
Probably bad form and all that, but
Cellist who played with Myra Hess and at a royal wedding
The Daily Telegraph27 Apr 2017
Admired the Prince of Wales
OLGA HEGEDUS, who has died aged 96, was for many years co-principal
cellist of the English Chamber Orchestra; a prominent chamber musician,
she also took part in the British premiere of Gustav Mahler’s
rediscovered Piano Quartet with the Nemet Ensemble in 1968 and played
for the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
She was a member of the Goldsborough Orchestra, which evolved into the
ECO, sharing the principal cello role with Charles Tunnell. They toured
the world, working with conductors and soloists such as Ashkenazy,
Barenboim and Rostropovich, whom she adored. She always carried radishes
in her luggage in case they were unavailable overseas.
Olga Hegedus braved new music, taking part with the all-female Haydn
Trio in the first performance of The Loneliness of Bunjil by the
Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe in 1960. On one occasion she was
playing in the premiere of a difficult avant-garde work. Getting
hopelessly lost, she calmly laid her bow across the music stand, only
resuming once she had found her place. Afterwards the composer, whose
name she forgot, thanked her for an excellent performance.
She gave recitals with the pianist Viola Tunnard. “Everything they did
was conscientious, sensitive and tasteful,” declared one critic after a
concert in 1949 featuring works by Brahms, Martinů and Nadia Boulanger.
The pair also formed a trio with the violinist Judy Hill until the early
Olga Hegedus was a great admirer of the Prince of Wales, exchanging
correspondence with him after his grandmother’s death in 2002. She was
pleased that he played the cello, though wishing that he had benefited
from better teachers. “He was very enthusiastic,” she would reply,
guardedly, when asked about his playing.
Olga Catherine Mary Elizabeth Hegedus was born in London on October 18
1920, the second of three daughters. Their father, Ferencz, was a
renowned Hungarian violinist who had married Kitty Buckley, a violinist
The family travelled extensively around interwar Europe, enabling Olga
and her sisters, Ilona and Margit, to become fluent French speakers.
Olga was assigned the cello “because I had fatter fingers than my
sisters, who both played violin”. They settled in London in 1928 and
Olga joined the London Violoncello School, making her first appearance
at the Wigmore Hall in 1937 with Zara Nelsova and Eleanor Warren.
Herbert Walenn, director of the school, dissuaded all three from going
to the Royal Academy, saying that they would “waste too much time”.
During the war she played for the Armed Forces and took part in Myra
Hess’s concerts at the National Gallery. The family lived in St John’s
Wood, but one night their home took a direct hit during a bombing raid,
and they ended up in a large house in Notting Hill that remained
unmodernised for 60 years. Her dogs were named after musical terms, such
as Quaver, an energetic terrier.
At some point Ilona, a convert to the Catholic church, introduced Olga
and Margit to the faith. Ilona soon lost interest, but Olga remained a
devout believer. “Church and cello” became her creed, and her last
couple of years were spent in a Catholic nursing home in Hammersmith.
Family folklore spoke of a boyfriend called George in the 1940s, but no
one dared to inquire. On one occasion her great-niece and great-nephew
put on Love, Actually. As the film progressed her lips grew tighter and
at the end she declared: “Well, that ought to be called Lust, Actually.”
She never married.
Olga Hegedus, born October 18 1920, died April 22 2017